Mobo Choice to replace FIC AU31

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It's been a while since I've put together a machine (3 years) and there
are a whole lot of new things that I'm unfamiliar with. Not the lest of
which is the variety of CPU's FSB's and sockets.

I'm hoping someone here can help me out. A friend has an eMachines box
that came with the FIC AU31/1.3 462P mobo. It died and needs to be

I recommemded that he replace it with the same board and avoid too much
work and cost. However,  eMachines wants $159 for a replacement board.
The aftermarket used to sell them for $45 but they are no longer available.

Any recommendations for a cheap but reliable compatible replacement. Top
of the line is not necessary. We want to reuse all the other parts.

The original machine came with:

# AMD Athlon™ XP 2800+ Processor (2.083 GHz) with QuantiSpeed™ architecture
# Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition
# NVIDIA® nForce™2
# 512 MB DDR (PC 2700)
# 120 GB HDD 1
# 48x Max. CD-RW Drive; 16x Max. DVD Drive; 3.5" 1.44MB FDD; 8-in-1
Media Reader(USB 2.0, Secure Digital (SD), Smart Media, Compact Flash,
Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Micro Drive, Multimedia Card)
# NVIDIA® GeForce4™ MX graphics (1 AGP 8x slot available)
# nForce™ 6-channel Audio
# 10/100Mbps built-in Ethernet
# 56K ITU v.92 ready Fax/Modem
# Premium Plus Multimedia Keyboard, 2-Button Wheel Mouse, Amplified
Stereo Speakers
# 5 USB 2.0 ports (4 in back; 1 in Media Reader), 1 Serial, 1 Parallel,
2 PS/2, Audio-In & Out

Re: Mobo Choice to replace FIC AU31

On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 08:47:12 -0500, Nicholas

Quoted text here. Click to load it

If this system has an eMachines restoration CD, it will
probably require exact same board or at least another
eMachines board to work.

If you don't mind this limitation, and your case is standard
mATX with removable rear I/O port shield, pick any similar
board, meaning since it has onboard video/sound/nic and
socket A, get another mATX nForce2 board.  Seek one
mentioning the integrated video ("IGP") since it's
theoretically possible a mATX board would not have
integrated video (though most often they do).

For example,
I'd expect you can find something for under $60, maybe
roughly half that if you're willing to accept a used or
refurbished board.  Generally going with one of the larger
or recognized quality name-brands is a safer bet, like MSI,
Asus, Gigabyte, Abit.  Shuttle makes a couple (MN31, MN35)
that weren't bad either, but the others ECS, PC Chips, DFI,
etc, are hit-or-miss quailty-wise.  Asus might have still
used 5V for CPU power, I don't recall (see bottom of my
reply for the significance of this).  Back when these boards
were new tech there was a substantial cost-savings with
lower-end boards but these days it's not worth the minor
cost difference to choose a lesser brand and quality, IMO.

Since the original board used 12V for CPU power, and with
eMachines power supply likely being low overall capacity, it
would be best, maybe even necessary, to choose a replacement
that also has 12V power for CPU as evidenced by the 4-pin
12V connector on the replacement board.  In other words,
usually the board specs do not make mention of this detail
so you should check a picture of any prospective board to
confirm that it does have the 4-pin 12V connector, as a few
mATX nForce2 did not, even though it was common.

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